Explore Asia on this Thailand and Malaysia trip, taking in the best of the cities, rainforest, islands and tea hills of these spectacular countries. Start by admiring the golden temples of Bangkok before flying to Phuket and relaxing in a floating lodge in Khao Sok National Park. Island hop through paradise, exploring Koh Ngai and Koh Lipe in Thailand before crossing the border into Malaysia. Snorkel in the green waters off Langkawi, taste spicy street-food in Penang and sip local tea in the Cameron Highlands. Finish your trip in the twinkling city of Kuala Lumpur, where a curry from Little India and a cocktail in rooftop bar is the perfect end to your holiday.
This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements; please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.
Depart the UK from your chosen airport.
On arrival in Bangkok, you will be met at the airport and driven to your hotel where you will check in for two nights.
After an early start, you’ll head to Bangkok’s most famous temple, Wat Pho, for a half-day tour. In the mornings the monks begin their ritual of chanting, an uplifting and private experience within the temple grounds before marvelling at the 45-metre-long Reclining Buddha, with intricate mother of pearl feet and stunning golden skin.
Next, you’ll explore the Grand Palace, where the majestic buildings are encrusted with golden tiles and ruby mosaics, with spiky roofs pointing into the sky. Here you’ll enter the holy sanctuary of the Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha image in the country, where many local people come every day to worship.
The afternoon is yours to explore the city at your leisure. Why not take a stroll through Chinatown, where you can visit interesting fabric and homewares shops, or take the boat along the river and soak up the pace of local life? In the evening, why not head into Silom to explore the night market and enjoy a traditional Thai meal of garlic rice, som tam and the famous green curry.
After breakfast, you will be taken back to the airport for the short flight to Phuket. Upon arrival, you will be driven north to Khao Sok, the region of Thailand’s rainforest. Head towards Ratchaprapa Dam, taking a scenic boat ride along Chiew-Larn Lake to the Greenery Panvaree, where you will check in for two nights. This floating resort sits right in the heart of nature, surrounded by lush forests. You can spend the afternoon relaxing, exploring the lake in a kayak or swimming in the cool water. You’ll enjoy dinner at the resort.
Get up early this morning, admiring the beautiful view of the lake as the sun rises over the mountains and mist swirls across the water. You’ll take a morning safari, learning about the flora and fauna of this mountainous region. Come back to the lodge for breakfast and spend the rest of your morning at leisure, relaxing and enjoying the resort.
After lunch, you’ll take an adventurous trip to Prakarang Coral Cave. You’ll trek through the jungle to the Emerald Lagoon, riding a bamboo boat to the cave, where the stalagmites have a similar shape to coral. Spot monkeys and birds amongst the trees, learning about the rare plants in the rainforest. Enjoy dinner on the deck, listening to the insects chirruping and the lapping sound of the water against your room.
Wake up this morning under the beautiful mists that cover the region each night, enjoying breakfast as the skies clear. Take a long-tail boat back to the pier and transfer south towards Trang. Here you will take another long-tail boat over to Koh Ngai, a lovely island where you’ll check into your hotel for two nights.
Koh Ngai is a low key island, undiscovered compared to many of the more popular Thai islands. With a few beautiful beaches, a lush inland forest and no cars or motorbikes on the island, it will certainly lull you into a peaceful mood as soon as you arrive. Warm and calm seas surround the island making it perfect for kayaking and snorkelling – you can paddle out to the tiny islands of Ko Maa and Ko Waen just off shore. The pretty island of Koh Rok is also not far away, an easy longtail boat ride across the turquoise waters. Really your time here will be about relaxing in the serene atmosphere and lush beauty of the island.
After breakfast, you’ll hop on the ferry to Koh Lipe, one of the southernmost Thai Islands, just across the water from Malaysia. On arrival, you’ll check into your hotel for three nights.
Welcome to paradise. The tiny island of Koh Lipe sits on the edge of Tarutao National Marine Park and is wonderland of pristine beaches, relaxing walks, colourful locals and vibrant sunsets. The snorkelling and diving here is fantastic – the reefs are easy to reach from the main beaches and the water is clear and perfect. Spend three days of peaceful bliss on this small, idyllic island.
After breakfast, you’ll take the boat over to Langkawi, passing through passport control into Malaysia. This journey only operates between November and May, otherwise, you will need to return to the mainland in Thailand and fly to Langkawi.
Today is yours to enjoy Langkawi at your own pace, whether you stroll along the beaches, go for a swim or simply chill at your luxury hotel. If you want to get out and explore, why not take the cable car up to the Sky Bridge where you can walk above the canopy and marvel at the views out over the jagged cliffs beneath you.
If you want to add a tour today, we can book you onto a tour of the mangroves, cruising through the wetlands and looking for eagles, bats and other wildlife in the area. You’ll stop to go swimming off one of the islands pristine beaches before having lunch at a fish farm where you can learn about how locals make their living. If you want to add this experience, just ask.
After breakfast, you’ll be taken to the jetty to catch the ferry boat to Penang, arriving in the city by lunchtime. Spend the rest of your day exploring, after checking into your hotel for three nights.
With two days to explore Penang, you’ll find there is plenty to fill your time. We have included a tour on Day 14 to give you the lay of the land, allowing you to explore further on your own on Day 15.
On Day 14, you’ll be picked up right after breakfast, and head out for a full-day walking tour to discover the vibrant city of Penang. Start in Georgetown, an area rich in history, culture and food. Learn about the town’s past, when merchants from around the world used Penang as a refuge from the two regional monsoon systems, mixing a whole range of people and produce with the local culture. Taste a cup of coffee at a bakehouse, sampling Bengali bread before exploring the old town which is full of architectural heritage. It’s a fascinating mix of old and new, with colourful street art sitting alongside colonial buildings. You’ll also visit Khoo Kongsi, to learn about the practices of ancestor worship that is embedded in local culture. Finish your trip in Little India, where shops sell kaleidoscopic flower garlands and the smells of delicious street food fill the air.
After breakfast, you’ll leave Penang at around 10am, travelling overland to the Cameron Highlands, in the hills of central Malaysia. Check into your hotel for two nights and spend the afternoon relaxing at your hotel, enjoying views of the lush mountainsides.
This morning, you’ll head out to explore the Cameron Highlands. You’ll be picked up by an experienced nature guide and visit the Cameron Highlands Tea Plantation. The views over the lush tea fields are spectacular and you’ll take a short tour of the plantation, learning about the processes of picking and manufacturing tea.
Next, you’ll drive higher into the hills to the Mossy Forest of Gunung Brinchang, where medicinal plants are gathered, and you’ll learn all about the ecosystem of the rainforest. Here you’ll find some of the most exotic flora on the planet, from pitcher plants and rare orchids to primitive ferns curling on the forest floor. Enjoy a cup of tea at the Boh Tea Factory before returning to your hotel, spending the afternoon relaxing at your leisure.
After a leisurely breakfast, you’ll head south towards the capital city. On arrival in Kuala Lumpur, you’ll check into your hotel for two nights. Why not head out to explore – we always recommend a visit to Little India for dinner, a delicious plate of curry is a wonderful welcome to Kuala Lumpur.
This morning, you’ll head out on a walking tour of Kuala Lumpur, getting an early start to maximise your time here as you explore this vibrant city on foot and local transport. Take the monorail to Chow Kit Market, where narrow walkways lead to a maze of stalls. Laden with products from seafood and vegetables to meat, spices and colourful fruits, the market is a fascinating place to explore. Next, you’ll hop on the Ligh Rail Train to Masjid Jamek, to visit the unique mosque that sits at the confluence of the Klang and Gombak rivers. Built in 1909, it is the city’s oldest mosque and its architecture was inspired by the Moguls of northern India. Admire the hotchpotch of items of sale in Little India, perhaps even trying some street-food as you explore.
After this you’ll visit the historic centre of the city including Merdeka Square, with buildings dating back to the 1800s. For lunch you’ll get to try a traditional banana leaf at Betel Leaf or baba nyonya at the Old China Café, before heading to visit Sze Ya and the nearby Hindu temple. The colourful roof is a spectacular display of Taoist architecture and is the oldest functional temple in the city. Finally, you’ll return to the hotel to enjoy your final evening in KL, or head out to explore even further yourself.
After breakfast, you’ll be picked up and taken to the airport in time for your flight home.
Monsoon season in Bangkok goes from May to July and lasts into November. This is then followed by a dry period from November to May which provides lower temperatures until mid-Feb followed by much higher temperatures until May. August and September are the rainiest months with chances of flooding.
The Southern region of Thailand has two seasons ‘wet’ and ‘dry’. On the west coast, most rain falls between April and October and on the east coast from September to December with dry and sunny weather typically for the rest of the year.
Malaysia is a year round destination. Rainfall is fairly even throughout the year with the rainy season (October to April) and the rest of the year showing no marked difference. The east coast of Peninsular Malaysia receives heavy rain from November to mid-February with the Sabah region experiencing the heaviest rainfall October to March.
This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.